Focus On November 2015, Not November 2016!

We have a high stakes presidential election coming up, and political junkies and people who pay attention to the issues are aware that will be a critical one for the direction of our country since President Obama will leave office on January 20, 2017.

There is also the possibility that President Obama could be succeeded by our first ever female presidents, or one of the sixteen members (and counting) GOP clown bus of a nomination process.

But as much as the media and others in our community want to look ahead, dream about whether Hillary Clinton will get the Democratic nomination, subsequently win that election and be inaugurated as our first female president, we pray that Donald Chump Trump remains the Republican front runner into the New Year or ponder the various scenarios that may or may not happen in that 2016 presidential contest, it’s time for a dose of  reality.

While I’m also cognizant of the big picture elements surrounding the 2016 election cycle, the Iowa caucuses don’t happen until February 1.   There still hasn’t been a single vote cast in a 2016 presidential primary election contest in either party yet, and voters won’t get a chance to do that until February 9 in New Hampshire.  

We are still in the summer of 2015 and have a more important election date looming that requires our undivided attention now.   That date is November 3, 2015.  

What’s that date you ask?   That’s the date the Houston city elections will take place, and if you are a TBLGQ denizen of H-town or a liberal progressive ally, we need to be laser beam focused on handing our looming electoral business. 

We will (sniff sniff) have to choose Mayor Annise Parker’s successor because she’s term limited.    We have several councilmembers in the same situation, and it’ll be up to us to determine who the best candidates are to sit in those nice leather chairs.  

While HERO is being implemented, it’s still being fought in the courts and the next mayor will determine how vigorously to defend it. You can bet HERO haters like Steven Hotze, the Baptist Ministers Assn. of Houston and Vicinity and others will be writing checks big and small to candidates they will hold to a pledge of gutting our civic human rights ordinance as a condition for their fiscal support.

And besides HERO, there are other civic issues we need to be thinking about.  Transit is one for example.  What do we need to do to keep traffic moving?  Will we continue to invest in rail and expand it to the airports?  Will we finally get some commuter rail lines built?  

You do know the mayor selects five members of the METRO transit authority board that will make those decisions.   

What’s the optimum funding level for the Houston police and fire departments?  What will we do to promoting our city as a wonderful diverse place to live, work and play.while ensuring all Houstonians benefit from a booming economy?   Will we step up our efforts to get high profile sports events here and try to bid for an Olympic Games? What can we do to promote the building of affordable housing inside and outside Loop 610?

All these issues are bi, trans and SGL issues since we live in H-town, too.

So forget about November 8, 2016.  We have an upcoming election that matters in just four months

While this post is Houston specific, I would bet there are other locales around the country that have elections scheduled on that date as well.   We need to be focused on getting people to show up and show out on November 3, because our opponents will definitely be busy getting their base out.

Focus people on November 2015, and forget November 2016 for the next four months.

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